A week before the Super Bowl, the Grammys saw brands hit the red carpet with campaigns that spoke to their souls and goals—or that completely baffled, as was the case with Old Spice’s subversively brilliant French-language spot (more on that below).
The winner in terms of postive social media buzz: Google’s ad featuring people who have called 1-800-273-8255 — the number of America’s National Suicide Prevention Hotline and the title of nominee Logic’s song, which he performed at the Grammys with Best New Artist winner Alessia Cara and nominee Khalid.
"1-800-273-8255" is more than a song—it’s a message of hope. @Logic301 teamed up with @madebygoogle and leant his song and voice to help tell survivors’ stories. Check it out. pic.twitter.com/iObWbIIjtf
— Recording Academy (@RecordingAcad) January 29, 2018
The message: Sometimes there’s more behind an image than the eye can see. Part of a wider set of stories that encourage people to question their lens on the world, “The Picture Perfect Life” invites people to question their assumptions on depression and who it might affect. In this video, Logic, whose Grammy-nominated song “1-800-273-8255” brought increased awareness on depression and suicide prevention earlier this year, narrates seemingly happy people’s stories to show that not every picture tells the whole story. If you’re in emotional distress, reach out: suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Google also promoted Google Home Max (which Apple countered with its HomePod spots): “Superior acoustics for any room in the house for true audiophiles. And since it’s powered by the Google Assistant, it’s a little help at home, like only Google can.”
More brand moves at the 2018 Grammy Awards:
Adidas Originals ran its hypnotic new ad:
Apple promoted its new HomePod and its Animoji in several ads:
Chase promoted the Zelle peer-to-peer payment function in its mobile app; Zelle also ran its own ad with Daveed Diggs:
Citi ran its “Joy Ride” spot:
Coca-Cola promoted Coke Zero Sugar:
The Diamond Producers Association ran “Real is Rare”:
Geico put the “tee” in manatee:
Honda ran “Never Settle” promoting the Accord:
IBM showed how Watson AI is “Working 9 to 5” — and beyond:
Intuit QuickBooks promoted teen musician Willa Amai performing a Daft Punk cover as the anthem to the brand’s #BackingYou campaign, featuring veteran producer Linda Perry:
L’Oréal Paris Elvive tapped singer Camilla Cabelo:
Lincoln debuted latest Matthew McConnaughey spot:
Lyft recreated Grammy-nominated tunes with an auto orchestra:
Mastercard brought its new #StartSomethingPriceless campaign to the Grammys with an update on “You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” by Grammy-nominated SZA and other artists:
McDonald’s showed Chrissy Teigen making a mid-awards show run to grab items from its new $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu:
New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery ran a local spot:
Old Spice puzzled non-French speakers with its first Grammys ad—an all-French spot for its Red line that it later explained with a subtitled version. (The parody of pretentious parfum ads may get a Super Bowl follow-up, Adweek reports.)
Hope we win an award tonight and also hope we didn’t fundamentally misunderstand what this particular awards show is and make an extremely expensive short film for nothing.
— Le Old Spice (@OldSpice) January 28, 2018
The spot’s description:
When selling deodorant there is really only one language that is the most appropriate to feature in a commercial. Some may say it is the one that the audience understands, but Old Spice disagrees. The correct answer is the language that sells the most deodorant. Bon appétit.
Still reading? The rest of this description is written for robots and algorithms. This Old Spice commercial, or “ad” in advertising speak, shows how our new scent, Captain, will help you find a lost dog. The commercial is in French, with English subtitles, which is pretty wacky and unexpected. Really a great way to stand out and show how the new Captain scent (body wash, deodorant, antiperspirant, and Invisible Spray) can help any man smell great. Old Spice. We make scents for men.
Watching commercials in French is played out now. The new big thing is watching French commercials with English subtitles. pic.twitter.com/RZpgJ88m12
— Le Old Spice (@OldSpice) January 29, 2018
Progressive featured its box and Flo:
Sonos closed its New York City flagship (temporarily) to make a Grammys-tied statement about Net Neutrality; Burger King, naturally, responded.
— Sonos (@Sonos) January 29, 2018
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) January 29, 2018
— Sonos (@Sonos) January 29, 2018
Target once again bought an ad break for a music performance, this time “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey:
— Target (@Target) January 29, 2018
Uber promoted the Best New Artist nominees:
Verizon ran its latest spot with Gaten Matarazzo of Netflix’s Stranger Things:
Volkswagen promoted the Tiguan:
Your favorite? Post a comment below.